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Full text of "NightRider"

395

down the alley, nothing had seemed quite real to him, and
everything had hung suspended in the timelessness of a
dream. He might have wandered about the streets for half
a day, there was no telling, looking at people and not seeing
them, scarcely knowing that his feet proceeded in their regu-
lar, dignified tread, and that people stared at his pale and
stony-looking face.

Then, later, with Cordelia beside him, and with Portia
laying the cool cloths to his forehead, he must have thought,
I'll do it in a little while, just a little while and I'll tell them,
and I'll go. But he had not.

The bitterness rose in Mr. Munn at the thought. He had
run through the blind woods; he had lain in the cold mud
and filth and had sucked up water into his mouth like a
beast; he had gone hungry and had hidden from the sight
of people, because Professor Ball had not been able to speak,
and say that he had done it. Because Professor Ball had
thought, 111 do it in a little while, just as soon as the trial is
over and my little girl doesn't need me any more, Til do it
then. Then the trial was over, and Doctor MacDonald was
free, and he had not done it.

The days had passed, and he had not been able to speak.
When he had heard that Mr. Munn was safe, and hiding, he
must have told himself that he would wait, just a little
longer; that if they caught Mr. Munn, he would speak up
and say he had done it. Meanwhile, the movement of
ordinary life in Ms own house, the sight of his daughters
doing their tasks quietly and competently about him, the
routine of the occupations on the farm, all those things must
have lulled him, and drawn him insidiously, hour by hour,
day by day, from his purpose. But, at night, in his room,
he must have read his Bible, and struck it with his ban-
daged hands in his agony and confusion, and walked the
floor, sweating like a man who wrestles with a too powerful
opponent, and prayed for strength. He had found a strength
in himself for acts of which he had never dreamed himself
capable. " It's surprising what a man'll find in himself," lie